Written by Emma Baxter-Wright, The Little Book of Chanel and The Little Book of Schiaparelli (both Carlton Books, now on Amazon for £12 Chanel and £9 Schiaparelli) are deceptively detailed and jam-packed with excellent information and beautiful images.

There really is nothing ‘little’ about these books as the titles might imply, true they aren’t coffee table books in size, but the wealth of information and brilliantly chosen images allow these pocket books to rightfully compete with thicker titles on the two fashion houses.

Each starts out with an biographical overview of the designer whose career and legacy they detail, which adds an interesting depth to these books, giving you an idea of the personal reasons why these women became interested in design and an insight into their creative approach, always against the background of their contemporary fashion from the Belle Epoque and pre-War up to the Sixties.

Baxter-Wright has done a stellar job at researching these books and her detailed guide through both designers’ work throughout the decades will vow even those who are familiar with their careers.

The book on Chanel includes a detailed chapter on the design house after her death, most notably Lagerfeld’s work  until now, while the title on Schiaparelli features a wonderful section on her famous perfumes.

Two highly recommended books which surpass many coffee table books on the same topics.

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